It had been absolute chaos. Doctors, EMTs, Fire and Rescue, civilians. People just zipping around everywhere. A mass casualty is what they were calling it. By definition that meant Emergencies services were overwhelmed by the number of sever casualties. But the only doctor on the scene who was feeling overwhelmed was Derek Shepherd. For the most part things were cleaned up. All emergent patients had been rushed to nearby hospitals as well as non emergent. So really he should have felt in control. All that was left to do was get on the nearest rig and hitch a ride back to Seattle Grace Hospital.
The problem was, when he turned around to look for his fellow surgen, Doctor Meredith Grey, she wasn't anywhere to be seen. He was sure she hadn't gone back to the hospital yet. If anyone had asked him to explain how he knew this for certain, he couldn't. But he knew. He knew she was there and something was wrong. So he started to search the scene. He found a little girl, who probably wasn't much older than seven or eight. Derek remembered seeing Meredith with the girl a while ago.
"Hey, you okay?" He asked, getting down to the little girl's level. She didn't respond. She was just staring at him. "Did, did the doctor bring you here? Hmm. Meredith?" He asked, hoping for an answer. "Is Meredith okay?" The girl shook her head 'no'. He felt like his heart had stopped. He held the little girl's hand and tried not to show just how scared he was.
"Just think. Which way is she? Which way." The little girl was clearly in shock. She wasn't speaking, and she looked scared. Derek tried not to push her, but she might have been his only hope for finding Meredith. "Take all the time you need, you're doing great." He did his best to coax the answer out. The girl looked around with water in her eyes before walking away. He followed her to the end of a dock near the disaster.
"Okay." He breathed looking out at the vast ocean. "Use your words. Where exactly is Meredith?" Again the girl didn't speak. Instead, she pointed to the sea.
He didn't hesitate diving into the ocean, knowing there was a low probability that he would find his...well he didn't exactly know what he and Meredith were to each other at the moment. But he did know that he was the only one who knew she was missing and if he didn't jump in to search for her, she would die. So into the freezing water he dove.
She was already blue. As a doctor he medically understood what that meant. She drowned. There was no way of knowing just how long she'd been in that water either. But still he rushed her to the nearest ambulance. Working with a team of EMT's, Meredith was strapped into a backboard, loaded on to a stretcher and on her way back to Seattle Grace. While the sirens wailed and the driver hauled ass to get back to hospital as quickly as possible, Derek was in the back of the rig aggressively performing CPR.
"Our ETA is five minutes!" The driver called over his shoulder to the Neurosurgeon. Derek didn't reply. He just continued counting out compressions and rescue breaths.
"One, Two, Three, Four, Five." Breath. "Once, Two, Three, Four, Five." Breath. "One, Two, Three, Four, Five." Breath. He didn't dare let up. Not for a second. If that second was the difference between saving her life and letting her go, he wouldn't risk it.
"What do we got?" Miranda Bailey, a fellow surgeon opened, the back doors of the ambulance upon its arrival at Seattle Grace.
"Jane Doe. Hypothermic, Drowning..." The EMT began to explain what he knew.
"It's not a Jane Doe." Derek told Bailey frantically. He still hadn't stopped CPR. "It's Meredith Grey. It's Meredith."
"Derek?" Miranda was surprised to see him back there pumping on a woman's chest. Once he said it was Meredith Grey, it made more sense. Those two had been drawn together like flies to honey since their first day. "Derek, how long as she been down?" She climbed into the ambulance and stood beside him.
"I don't know! She's...she's alive."
"Derek..." The man was a neurosurgeon. He knew that a body can't survive if it wasn't breathing. A person could only last five to ten minutes. After that they risked serious brain damage. It had to have been a few minutes ride just to the hospital. If Meredith had drowned, things didn't look good for her.
"She's alive." Derek insisted. He knew what Bailey was trying to say. He knew what he should be thinking, but every irrational part of his brain was telling him to continue CPR. So that's what he did.
"Ok," she sighed. "Look, I need you to help me get her inside."